Day Four, Just Two More

Hey, it’s Rey!

Welcome to Day 4 of The Connecticut Corpse Caper promotion; only two more. It’s FREE from Nov 8 – 12 (sounds like a steal to me).

Caper gave JJ, Linda and me a taste of what being a detective was all about.  Okay, so we were more like Nancy Drews—pretty amateur sleuths—but we eventually solved the caper, er, case.

My cousin JJ and I had to stay at Aunt Mat’s huge “haunted” house for a week to collect on an inheritance (Linda was along for the ride).  From the get-go, bodies started dropping.  Weird sounds flowed through walls and long, dark passageways became part of the norm.  It was quite the challenge, determining who the perp was.  Can’t share that with you, though, sorry.  You’ll have to read Caper to find out.  But I will share this: you’ll be surprised.  He-he.

If I’ve tweaked your interest, check out . . .

https://www.amazon.ca/Connecticut-Corpse-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEDWHMG/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&qid=1604758403&refinements=p_27%3ATyler+Colins&s=digital-text&sr=1-2

See you again on Day 5!

Day Three, Hoo-Wee

Howdy.  The ladies called from way ovah the Pacific to ask me to post today.  Miss Rey was supposed to, but she ended up showing an actor friend the town and got back around three in the a.m.  Seems she’s still sleeping it off (hear a few Mai Tais were involved).

So, folks, today is Day 3 of The Connecticut Corpse Caper promotion. It’s FREE from Nov 8 – 12.  Hoo-wee.  Can’t beat that.

Allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Sheriff Augustus Jacob Lewis and I first met the ladies when my deputy and I were called in to check on a body in Miss Matty Moone’s mansion.

Let me give y’all a rundown . . .

“What about the fact that Thomas Saturne died?” Miss Linda asked with a pretty frown.

Gwynne, my deputy, sighed. “It was an accidental death-”

“For sure?” she challenged, looking feisty.

“For now.” I drained my coffee and stood. “Matty Moone was a good lady and she made a tasty pear crumble pie-”

“Pear crumble pie?” Miss Rey and Miss Jill asked simultaneously. They seemed really surprised that their aunt baked.

“Your ahnt enjoyed baking in the fall. Never did it any othah time of the year, except for the week around Christmas, of course. She dropped off a couple of pies, like clockwork, every second Friday throughout the autumn months.” I smiled wistfully and gazed into the distance, as if a slice were within reach.  Gosh, those pies were damn tasty.

“Shouldn’t you check out the entire property?” Miss Linda demanded.

“I was going to say, before I was interrupted, she made tasty pear crumble pies but she made even greatah jokes.” I glanced from one lady to the next. “As her nieces, you’d know that bettah than anyone. She probably got this Jensen Moone fellow to play anothah prank.”

“But-”

Gwynne’s concentrated stare silenced Miss Linda.

She frowned and turned to the mammoth fireplace.

“If you won’t find him, we will,” Miss Rey stated haughtily, hopping to her feet.

“When you find him, I’m sure he’ll be roaring with laughtah,” I said with a grin, smoothing my shirt over a belly that had enjoyed many of Mathilda Moone’s pear pies and more. Those were the days. “We’ll see ourselves ount. Please thank the team in the kitchen for the hospitality.”

I really got to like these ladies.  Why don’t you read Caper and find out why these likable ladies decided to become private investigators?

Miss Rey’ll be here tomorrow . . . maybe.

https://www.amazon.ca/Connecticut-Corpse-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEDWHMG/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&qid=1604758403&refinements=p_27%3ATyler+Colins&s=digital-text&sr=1-2

 

Day 2 . . . For You

Hi there.  Welcome to Day 2 of The Connecticut Corpse Caper promotion—it’s FREE from Nov 8 – 12.

JJ liked yesterday’s post, so here I am again—Adwin, her ex-boyfriend.

Quick rundown: Caper had several of us staying at JJ’s eccentric aunt’s haunted mansion for a week—anyone who could last the week would luck in re the inheritance.  If anyone left before then, their share would go into the pot. 

I thought I’d share a moment (one of many, let me tell you) when things started getting, well, excitingly scary.  Take it away, JJ . . .

Later, after dinner and a few treks upstairs, we adjourned to the Drink & Death Room, as Linda called the drawing room. We were sipping mint tea and avoiding eye contact, ensconced in those little Zen zones we’d become quite familiar with in the last twenty-four hours, when ghost-like booing started to flow softly around us like milkweed filaments propelled by a westerly wind.

“How Abbott and Costello,” Linda commented.

“That explains why Jensen didn’t show up for dinner,” Percival said with a roll of his eyes, jerking a thumb upward. “He’s hovering near a vent, doing a Casper impression.”

“It’s kinda lame,” Rey sniffed, pouring more tea into her cup.

“Why don’t we sneak up on him and give him a scare?” Linda suggested, standing. “I don’t want him thinking he can get away with this all night.”

“If the lot of us ‘sneak up on him’, we’d hardly catch him unawares,” Prunella pointed out dully.

Rey threw back her tea. “Let’s give it a try. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. We’ll get back at him with our original plan.”

“Never mind the fact there have to be hidden rooms and walkways in an old place like this,” Linda added with a nod.

“Let’s split up,” I proposed. “Rey and Linda can take the west wing. Adwin, you and I will take the east. Prunella and Percival could-“

High-pitched staccato laughter echoed throughout the dwelling.

Linda snorted. “Geez, now we’ve got freaking Fred Flintstone’s Uncle Giggles running amok.”

Percival looked blank, but Adwin and I laughed.

“Okay guys, let’s do as my cousin suggested and take different parts of the house,” Rey said, stepping past.

I grabbed her forearm. “Let’s not make too much noise. We want to surprise him.”

“How’re we going to see anything? We can’t exactly go turning on lights if we’re aiming for the element of surprise,” Adwin pointed out.

“Let me get those flashlights we put back in the pantry earlier.” Percival strolled from the room; a man with a target.

I know the women would love it if you check out how they got interested in pursuing private-eye careers.  You can find Caper here:

https://www.amazon.ca/Connecticut-Corpse-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEDWHMG/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&qid=1604758403&refinements=p_27%3ATyler+Colins&s=digital-text&sr=1-2

Not sure who’s here the next day . . . it may be Rey. 

Day 1 . . . Not Done

Hi there.  Welcome to Day 1 of The Connecticut Corpse Caper promotion.

If you aren’t yet familiar with the private-eye trio from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency, you won’t know me.  I’m Adwin Byron Timmins, pastry chef and Jill Jocasta Fonne’s ex-beau—er, that’s JJ now, I guess (still not used to the name change).

Anyway, she asked if I’d do a quick post to let you know that The Connecticut Corpse Caper is F-R-E-E from Nov 8 – 12. 

Caper had several of us staying at JJ’s eccentric aunt’s haunted mansion for a week—anyone who could last the week would luck in re the inheritance.  If anyone left before then, their share would go into the pot. 

JJ, her mouthy cousin Rey, and Rey’s quiet best friend Linda got caught up in all the craziness—bodies dropping, weird sounds from behind thick walls, hidden passageways, and Fred the ghost—and started playing amateur sleuths.  They didn’t do too badly either and eventually tied up a lot of loose ends!  I got to adopt a cool cat and the women decided they just might want to go professional.

Maybe you’d like to check out the sleuthing adventures of my ex-girlfriend and her colleagues?  What have you got to lose . . . except a couple of action-packed, sometimes comic, hours?

https://www.amazon.ca/Connecticut-Corpse-Triple-Threat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01KEDWHMG/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&qid=1604758403&refinements=p_27%3ATyler+Colins&s=digital-text&sr=1-2

Did I do okay, Jill—er, JJ? 

Plugging the Promo . . . and then Some

Another five-day promo blitz is coming up for both The Connecticut Corpse Caper and Can you Hula like Hilo Hattie?.

That got me to thinking—I’ve never really posted very much about my publisher, Next Chapter, “the community-driven, next-generation publishing house”.

Feel free to join.  As they state, there aren’t any hidden fees or small print.  We like that.

We also like that NC (as we call it) has published several bestsellers.  That tells you it’s not a fly-by-night, vanity, or duplicitous publisher.

WPNextCh4SearchAAnother like?  The site itself.  It has a “free-flowing” feel to it.  Very simple yet stylish and professional.  And “search” is a bit different from the norm—no little box in a corner.  It’s right there in the center—pull up an author/book without having to squint, tilt the head, or adjust the progressives (like I often do).

There you have it—a little plug for my publisher.  If you’re interested in becoming a fellow NC author or reading a fantastic book [or three], check them out at . . . https://www.nextchapter.pub/

See you tomorrow for Day 1 of The Connecticut Corpse Caper promo.

The End of the Beginning

Yee-ha!  Finished “HA-HA-HA-HA” . . . well, the first draft anyway.  For me, this has been—wow—over a year in the making.  Time to celebrate?  Maybe.  A little.

WPwineIf you’ve finished your manuscript, congrats.  Not an easy feat (not unless you’re a prolific writer who can put something together in a wink and a blink).  So, what now?  Have a celebratory glass of wine or cup of tea?  Why not?  Go for it.  Give yourself a [well-deserved] pat on the back?  For sure—you deserve it, so give yourself two.  Take a breather?  Most definitely!

“The End” truly isn’t the end, not when it’s only the first draft.  After that, you have to begin on the revamping, the refining.  You want your manuscript to be submission perfect, so make certain your “product” is good enough to send out to publishers, agents (if you’re planning on pursuing the traditional publishing route), acquisition editors, and the like.

I’ve undoubtedly touched upon the following in past, but a review is always worthwhile—for you and me.

Take the aforementioned breather—a few days isn’t enough, truly, so aim for a few weeks, even a month or, better yet, two.  I know, this seems like a forever when you’re excited about your manuscript and want to get it out there.  But you must step away to view/review your work with objectivity.  You’ve been living with the story for some time and need fresh eyes to see what’s what (what works and what doesn’t): you can only do that when you’ve stepped away for a decent period of time.

Once that breather has breathed enough, pick up that manuscript and read it all the way through before proofing/editing.  Get a feel for how it flows, what makes sense, what stands out (as in amiss or incorrect, or makes you scratch your head).  Now that you’ve got an idea of what requires doing, fix the critical items first—scenes that don’t work, plot holes, character inconsistencies.  Once you’ve got those smoothed over, begin the edit.  Take your time.

Second edit done?  Edit more—or refine, as the case may be.  Once completed, get feedback/input.  Receiving it from family and friends is okay (but how objective are they really going to be?).  Aim for writing communities and groups and beta readers.  See what others have to say but take their advice with a grain of salt; it may make [a lot of] sense, it may not.  Give the feedback serious—and non-subjective thought—and apply as you deem fit.

If you don’t yet have a social-media/on-line presence, create one.  You want people to know about your book and you, the writer.  How about a blog?  Promote your book—and yourself—there.  Spark interest.

I digressed a bit, because social media and the like is a whole other kettle of fish (and I’ve posted about this before).  Really, the whole point about “The End” is that there’s a beginning . . . which leads to it being final, faultless/flawless, and fabulous.

With that, I’m off to take a few breaths . . . hmm, just how many are there in a month?

Mish-Mash, Monster Mash

Happy Halloween from the trio—JJ, Rey, and Linda—at the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.

It’s JJ posting on behalf of the three of us. We were going to do some tricks, but couldn’t think of any that would work well in an actual post.  So, down the crapper that went.  <LOL>

Linda suggested we write poems, but Rey pooh-poohed that and I wasn’t overly keen on it, either.  I proposed an edifying post re the origins of Halloween.  Rey snickered and blew a majorly loud raspberry.  Linda merely rolled her eyes and bit into a Twizzler.

So, given we’d attended a party last night—and had a few too many silly shooters (can you spell o-u-c-h?)—we thought we’d simply say . . . . . . Happy Halloween!

We leave you with a classic . . . and, really, how could you not like, listen to, or dance to this one?

Have fun.  Enjoy.  Indulge (but not too much). 

A Tisket A Tasket, A Tricket A Treatet

Had to get it to rhyme . . . at least a little.  <LMAO>  Hey, it’s Rey!

The Boss decided the three of us from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency—‘case you forgot or didn’t know where we work—should post during Halloween week.  Love it.  So-o, peeps (ooh, I just got a craving for those super sweet marshmallow thingies), today you’ve got me sharing our favorite All Hallows’ Day treats.  Yummmmmmm!

WPa2DreamstimeDOTcomLinda didn’t have much fun as a kid, but in her late teens, she got into the Halloween spirit with a friend of hers.  For four, maybe five, years in a row, she and Greta would do up all the fare for their annual big bash.  She wasn’t much of a baker or cook (still isn’t) but did enjoy making (and eating) skull cookies.

Make sure you have a skull cookie cutter (or an equally fun one) and piping bags on hand. 

What you need:

Cookies:  ♠ 1 stick unsalted, soft butter  ♠ 1 cup brown sugar  ♠ 1 egg  ♠ 1 tsp pistachio flavoring (or whatever you like)  ♠ ½ tsp baking powder  ♠ ¼ tsp salt  ♠ 2 cups flour

Icing:  ♠ 4 cups powdered sugar  ♠ 6 tbsp tepid water  ♠ 3 tsp egg-white powder (or egg whites mixed with cream of tartar)  ♠ food colors (black and red for sure)

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, whip the butter and sugar at medium speed.  Beat in the egg, flavoring, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly add the flour and mix until there is dough.  With a rolling pin, roll it out – 1/3” thick.  Use your fun cutters and place the cookies on a cookie sheet that’s lined with parchment paper.  Make sure there’s enough space between them (they will rise, folks).  Bake for no more than 8-10 minutes; keep an eye out (Linda managed to burn a few batches back when).

Prepare your icing by beating all the ingredients, except the food coloring, until you form peaks (10 minutes or thereabouts).  Given you want different colors of icing, separate it into a few bowls and then add the coloring.  Mix well. 

For a skull face, you can spread the basic/white icing all over the cookies.  Then decorate the faces by adding eyes and lips, scars, and blood—whatever you think will be frighteningly fun.

WP1TasteofHomeDOTcomJJ enjoyed Halloween as much as the next kid.  She went back further and decided to share a recipe for her favorite childhood: caramel apples.  Simple, sweet, and scrumptious.

What you need:  ♠ 1 package white-chocolate chips  ♠ 2 tablespoons margarine/butter  ♠ 2 bags of caramels (these days, she’s inclined to go for salted caramels)  ♠ ¼ cup tepid water  ♠ 8 washed and dried apples (she likes Cortland and Empire)  ♠ chopped chocolate bars of choice (she’s partial to Fifth Avenue, Clark bars, and Heath)

You can melt the chocolate chips and margarine/butter in a microwave, if you like, but over the stove is preferred (by JJ anyway).  Stir and set the mixture on the counter.  Next, melt the caramels in the water and stir.  Set this on the counter, too.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Smear oil, margarine or butter on the paper.  Pop the wooden sticks into the apples.  Dip into the caramel sauce, twisting and turning to ensure the apple is thoroughly coated.  Drizzle it with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with the crushed chocolate bars of choice.  Refrigerate.  Serve whole (for gluttons) or in slivers.

If you’re so inclined, add eyeballs, spiders or webs (or whatever creepy crawlies float your boat) to the whole apples and plate them; your imagination will dictate how “Halloweeny” to get.

Rey (me!) loved Halloween.  I got to prank people, but that’s another post.  Considering pizza is one of my favorite foods, I’d have to go with that.

WP1aDreamstimeDOTcomLike Linda, I’m not a great baker or cook (not even close).  You can buy small ready-made pizzas and decorate them, or do something simple and make your own by using English muffins or mini-sized pita, or smaller-sized Naan.

Ingredients (to place on top of base of choice):  ♠   tomato sauce  ♠ shredded cheese (you decide which one)  ♠ large black olives, some sliced both ways (lengthwise and widthwise)  ♠ large green olives (stuffed ones are good—because then you have “openings” for eyes)  ♠ peppers (orange, red)  ♠ sprouts

Prepare the base by adding the tomato sauce (on all or just some) and cheese. 

If you want to be creative, before you bake, cut the cheese into various shapes.  Long slender strips can be arranged to look like mummy wrapping.  Cut some into ghost shapes (or use a cookie cutter).  Super thin slivers can be arranged to look like spiderwebs.

Pop the black olives into the green olives (with stuffing removed) to make eyes.  Pimento-stuffed olives, sliced crosswise, also make for good eyes. 

Black olives cut lengthwise make for great spiders—a whole olive for the body and the slivers for the legs.  Play around to get the right look.  Black olives also make for fun bats.  Slice the slivers so they resemble wings.  Draw eyes on the bats (by dotting with ketchup or dip).

Orange peppers, cut into round shapes, make for cute pumpkins.  On them, draw jack-o’lantern mouths and eyes (use a condiment or dip of some sort).  Red peppers can be cut into triangles for eyes and curvy slivers for lips.

Sprouts can serve as hair for whatever monster you want to conjure up (I’d probably add these after baking, but it’s your choice).

You can even arrange pepperoni creatively: make a face, eyes, smile/frown.

There you go, a few simple ideas.  As Cousin Jilly might say: easy-peasy.

Any Secrets to Editing a Short Story?

Not that I know of.  <LOL>  It’s JJ today.

Editing a short story is the same as editing a long one; you’re looking for, and correcting, the same issues.  And, before you ask or Rey blows me another [raucous] raspberry, yes, I have the qualifications.  As a former weather announcer who also produced community specials, I did a lot of writing which, of course, included a lot of editing.  And narrating our private-eye exploits isn’t done before thorough proofing/correcting.  (Ugh.  That just earned me another raspberry.)

So, before we visit Rey’s Full Moon over Plymouth, let’s summarize Linda’s guidelines on how to write a solid short story two posts past:

♦  make certain you know the [short story] genre; understand the perimeters

♦  present a conflict or complication, a quest or mission from the get-go; create interest immediately

♦  make sure your main character has just that: character

♦  ensure your “plot” is fresh and maintains readers’ interest; be imaginative/creative

♦  appeal to your readers’ emotions . . . and have your characters convey them, which will give them depth and make them likable (or unlikable, as the case may be)

♦  present a dynamic ending; it, like the opening, has to transpire quickly so bring adequate closure (even if you leave readers dangling).

And, with that, Editor JJ will comment on Cousin Reynalda’s short Full Moon over Plymouth paragraph by paragraph (and if she blows any more of those, I’ll have to fetch an umbrella).

Gisele Cooper stood ramrod straight as she steadily held the Luger and tracked Marshall Willis, the serial killer who had terrorized the New England coast for eight months now.  To the point and sets the mood.  Could have used a bit more description.  Something like: “Pretty P.I. Gisele Cooper, stood ramrod straight as she eyed the rural Massachusetts darkness . . .”

It was a cool early November evening and the pretty private eye was pumped.  She’d catch “Wicked Willis” if it was the last thing she’d do.  He’d dodged the cops, media, fellow private investigators, and her.  Enough was enough.  Not bad.  Gives readers a sense of time as well as purpose.

Willis, an average-looking guy of average height and average build, had bayoneted twelve men—that they knew of.  And they’d not have know it was Willis if there hadn’t been a witness.  Typo.  Slap on hand (playfully, of course) to Rey.  That is exactly why we proof/edit. 

Amos, a frisky Staffordshire Bull Terrier, had been at the last killing and had managed to take a bite out of the murderer’s arm as he plunged the knife, which was fitted into the end of an old musket.  Lucky Amos got away fast—with the weapon, no less!  Amos’ owner called the police and the rest, as the saying went, was history.  A little awkward sounding.  Might have approached it differently.  But the action/excitement is there.

At thirty-four, Gisele didn’t have many years of experience.  Just four.  But she had instinct and chutzpah and knew how to swing a mean left hook and wield a weapon.  Good.  A little insight into our heroine.  Might have moved this closer to the opening, though.

She’d gotten involved with this case—if she could call it that—when Harvey, a detective she sometimes dated, was assigned as the lead investigator.  After dinner and drinks, and nookie, he’d share updates, knowing she’d not divulge anything she’d heard.  Seems a bit flat.

So, here she was, trailing a nutbar after following a tip that Willis was living in a two-room shack somewhere along the Eel River.  She’d missed him by seconds.  The hot coffee mug and bitten egg sandwich told her that.  And the partially open rear door said he’d left that way.  So did the footprints in the soft drizzle-dense soil, visible courtesy of the camping lamp on a cheap plastic stand alongside the door.  I’d like a little more detail to give it more depth, excitement.  Something like . . . “She’d missed him by seconds—verified by the chipped hot coffee mug featuring a pirate’s visage and half-eaten egg sandwich that oozed ketchup like a gunned down doe.”

“You’re not escaping me, my friend,” she murmured into the breezeless night.  Wouldn’t she be more determined, more angry?  How about “she hissed”?

There was a mini flashlight in her leather bomber jacket pocket, but she had no intention of letting him, or anyone else, view her from afar.  Not sure if this is worth mentioning.

Willis hadn’t been on anyone’s radar.  The average man of twenty-four had been an average student and held an average job since finishing high school.  Nothing in his past screamed “serial-killer material”.  But once Amos had provided “evidence” and they’d narrowed down the possibilities, they’d zeroed in on Marshall Willis.  I might have detailed this a bit more.  (Sorry Rey.)

Gisele tossed her long blonde waves and surveyed the length of the sparkling river.  The stars and a full moon danced upon it.  Pretty, she thought, worth visiting one day under different circumstances.  Maybe with Harvey?  I’d add something like . . . “Maybe with Harvey?  She smirked and shook her head.  Focus, girl, focus.”

She stopped.  Had she noticed movement among the dense foliage?  No, it was a feral cat, that was all.  She laughed anxiously as she watched it scamper from view.  Nice.

That cost her.  Almost.  A swisssshhhhhhh from behind prompted her to duck and whirl.  The bayonet sliced the air instead of herPerfect.

“Damn, I missed.  Too bad,” Willis chortled.  “But I won’t this time.”  A little more dialogue and drama would be good.

Without thought, Gisele swung up and out, and caught him under the chin with the Luger.  The she swung again and caught him on the temple.  Before he could react or retreat, she had him on his belly and handcuffed.  Works for me.

“Gotcha.”  Necessary?

As if conveying approval, mockingbirds sang in unison.  Gisele bowed in acknowledgement and hauled Willis to his average-sized feet.  Nice touch with the mockingbirds.  I might have added a few other animals or sounds.

All in all, I agree with Linda’s A+ for effort.  As a short, it has its moments—a bit of tension, history, a dramatic opening (a dangerous mission) and an equally dramatic ending with an outcome.

Oh-oh.  That expression tells me my cousin’s not amused.  Better get that umbrella; I sense a glut of those contemptuous sounds coming my way.

Ta-Da – the Long-Awaited Short Story by Reynalda Fonne-Werde

Last time, I provided some simple guidelines for writing a short story (it’s Linda again, in case you missed the previous post).  Today, you have the first short—maybe only (he,he)—story by my best friend and fellow private eye, Rey.  Initially, JJ had wanted to sit it out, but has now decided she’ll jump on board by editing Rey’s short story in the next post—what works, what doesn’t, and why.  My BFF’s not looking forward to that, as an FYI, which may result in a follow-up post about how to edit from a writer’s perspective.  <LMAO>

So, here you have it, Rey’s short, entitled Full Moon over Plymouth.

Gisele Cooper stood ramrod straight as she steadily held the Luger and tracked Marshall Willis, the serial killer who had terrorized the New England coast for eight months now.

It was a cool early November evening and the pretty private eye was pumped.  She’d catch “Wicked Willis” if it was the last thing she’d do.  He’d dodged the cops, media, fellow private investigators, and her.  Enough was enough.

Willis, an average-looking guy of average height and average build, had bayoneted twelve men—that they knew of.  And they’d not have know it was Willis if there hadn’t been a witness. 

Amos, a frisky Staffordshire Bull Terrier, had been at the last killing and had managed to take a bite out of the murderer’s arm as he plunged the knife, which was fitted into the end of an old musket.  Lucky Amos got away fast—with the weapon, no less!  Amos’ owner called the police and the rest, as the saying went, was history.

At thirty-four, Gisele didn’t have many years of experience.  Just four.  But she had instinct and chutzpah and knew how to swing a mean left hook and wield a weapon. 

She’d gotten involved with this case—if she could call it that—when Harvey, a detective she sometimes dated, was assigned as the lead investigator.  After dinner and drinks, and nookie, he’d share updates, knowing she’d not divulge anything she’d heard.

So, here she was, trailing a nutbar after following a tip that Willis was living in a two-room shack somewhere along the Eel River.  She’d missed him by seconds.  The hot coffee mug and bitten egg sandwich told her that.  And the partially open rear door said he’d left that way.  So did the footprints in the soft drizzle-dense soil, visible courtesy of the camping lamp on a cheap plastic stand alongside the door.

“You’re not escaping me, my not-so-dear friend,” she murmured into the breezeless night.

There was a mini flashlight in her leather bomber jacket pocket, but she had no intention of letting him, or anyone else, view her from afar.

Willis hadn’t been on anyone’s radar.  The average man of twenty-four had been an average student and held an average job since finishing high school.  Nothing in his past screamed “serial-killer material”.  But once Amos had provided “evidence” and they’d narrowed down the possibilities, they’d zeroed in on Marshall Willis.

Gisele tossed her long blonde waves and surveyed the length of the sparkling river.  The stars and a full moon danced upon it.  Pretty, she thought, worth visiting one day under different circumstances.  Maybe with Harvey?

She stopped.  Had she noticed movement among the dense foliage?  No, it was a feral cat, that was all.  She laughed anxiously as she watched it scamper from view.

That cost her.  Almost.  A swisssshhhhhhh from behind prompted her to duck and whirl.  The bayonet sliced the air instead of her.

“Damn, I missed.  Too bad,” Willis chortled.  “But I won’t this time.”

Without thought, Gisele swung up and out, and caught him under the chin with the Luger.  The she swung again and caught him on the temple.  Before he could react or retreat, she had him on his belly and handcuffed.

“Gotcha.”

As if conveying approval, mockingbirds sang in unison.  Gisele bowed in acknowledgement and hauled Willis to his average-sized feet.

I was kind of surprised.  I didn’t think Rey had that much imagination in her, but then, she was—still is, sometimes—a B-movie actress.  I give her an A+ for effort.  Let’s see what JJ says when she pulls on her editor’s cap.